Speed of Lightning
Power* of Thunder
Fighting all who
Rob and plunder
Have no fear, Underdog is here!
Amazing how memory works. I can’t remember my to-do list I wrote this morning without checking it throughout the day, but I song from a cheesy 1960s cartoon I used to watch when I was a kid now won’t get out of my head.
I love cartoons. Always have. One of the best things in life used to be waking up to watch Saturday Morning Cartoons. I was partial to Looney Tunes. It’s funny, but I know I remember watching more than those, but it’s Bugs, Daffy, Elmer Fud, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe LePew, and friends that I remember most from those mornings.
Once the cartoons were over around 10 or 10:30, things heated up with Mid-South Wrestling. I used to love my wrestling – The Iron Sheik, Hacksaw Jim Dugan, the Junkyard Dog, Ted Dibiase (the Million Dollar Man), Bret “the Hitman” Hart, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler (he sucked). I watched through most of high school when the WWF had pretty much consolidated everything under their umbrella (Vince Mcmahan, marketing genius). It didn’t take long to figure out it was fake, but who cares. It’s like a soap opera with sweat and too many Y chromosomes. Even went to see one of the WWF events in Lake Charles, the Ultimate Warrior was the main draw. Incredible physical ballet and amazing that they don’t get hurt or hurt each other more than they do.
George is under the dog right now. I was under the dog on the other chair a few minutes ago. Apparently the floor is beneath him (drum roll).
Back to cartoons.
They’re not quite as special as they used to be because you can watch them at will now. I’m guessing, without looking, they’re all on Youtube somewhere. I know that we’ve got disc with tons of Tom and Jerry downstairs. When it’s at your fingertips; you never end up watching because you always can – at least that’s how it works for me. I don’t remember the last time I sat down to watch my The Princess Bride DVD, but I’ve watched it, or parts thereof, three times in the last month.
Back in the day, you had your Saturday morning cartoons and your after-school ones too. That’s where I used to watch Underdog. I was never a huge Underdog fan – never been a huge Superman fan either, maybe there’s something about caps and flying in my superheroes I don’t like. I did love the cartoons that showed with Underdog –
- Tennessee Tuxedo (though I liked Chumley better – just struck me that Patrick from Spongebob is a lot like Chumley. Coincidence?)
- Savior Faire and his dog Malamut (I named one of my cars Malamut) though I’m not sure he was an Underdog one
- Colonel Bragg who had a “little” history with his “There! Africa, it was hot when I meet Dr. Livingstone.”
Then there was Rocky and Bullwinkle – I am dying to name a client’s personas Boris, Natasha, and Rocky the Squirrel one day. You can’t help but love Rocky and Bullwinkle – Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat! And then, of course, there was Peabody and His Boy Sherman and the Go Go Gophers. And Fractured Fairy Tales, no wonder my sense of humor is all mixed up – especially because my Dad had HBO and I usually stayed up later than he did so would watch as many R rated movies as I could (Animal House – the first dirty movie I saw, at 7, and still hilarious today as I watched part of it again last night because it just came on). A few years later, my Mom got HBO and she would go to sleep EVEN EARLIER. If there was “partial nudity” in the description, I was watching. Anyway, I guess you combine Eddie Murphy and other comedy specials and the cartoons of the day, with the occasional Playboy and Hustler find, and you end up with my tad bit warped sense of humor.
Cartoons are as great today as they were then. And it’s amazing how well most of the Looney Tunes have held up – they’re better than the Little Loonies or whatever that show was called with them as young “kids.” The Flintstones are still funny too. And, not sure cartoon sitcoms count as cartoons in the same way that cartoon shorts do. The Jetsons, The Simpsons, South Park – they aren’t the same as a 6 minute short. Cartoons can be dark and serious – the Batman series from the 90s had a great dark edge to it. Samurai Jack, one of my favorites, had a fantastic stylized animation that I dig – and cool story about Aku the demon. The Japanese stuff is just nutty at times, though Ghost in the Machine is awesome. And then there’s Spongebob Squarepants. I wanted to hate Spongebob – and did for a while.
But, eventually, he wore me down. There was a good two year stretch where I watched Spongebob nearly every night with Lauren before bed. One of my better parenting moments was also getting her hooked on Scooby Doo. Though, the way things are now, perhaps getting her hooked on “Scooby Snacks” and Shaggy, who just might have been stoned even as a cartoon character, wasn’t the best idea.
I even loved the Spongebob movie.
Funny, when I sat down 30 minutes ago to write this, I was going to write about underdogs in sports. Then I starting humming “Power of thunder” and got off on this tangent. And now I’m thinking of Hong Kong Phuey, Number One Super Guy and giggling at how his cat laughed. And about how Snagglepus talked. And “Grape Ape! Grape Ape!” And Yosemite Sam, the rootenest tootenist cowboy in the West. And Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And Spaaaaacccceeee Ghooooost. And Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats (and, whoever came up with Snarf; “snarf, snarf;” should be punched right in the face). And the one with the barbarian and the rhino-looking dinosaur that shot stuff out of its horn — never can remember the name of that one. And Captaiiiiiinn Caaaaaveeeemmaaaann! And He Man. And The Smurfs. And so many others. And don’t get me started on the movies; I’ll just mention Up, which has one of the best opening montages of any film I’ve ever seen — I wanted to cry when it was done.
And I want to wake up tomorrow and turn the dial to hear Elmer Fudd singing “Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!”
Images are from the respective Wikipedia pages.
*It’s actually “Roar” of thunder. I was thisclose.
Most of your examples are Hannah-Barbera, though you left out Dudley Do-Wright. And the barbarian with the rhino-dinosaur, that was Tundor from the Herculoids, also Hannah-Barbera.
Oh yeah, you left out Johnny Quest, but then again you may actually be too young to remember that one. 😀
Of course, Sherman and Mr. Peabody were my favorite. 😉
Holy crap! How’d I forget Dudley and Nell and Snidley Whiplash? Damn. Right, Thundarr. We got there in the end and his non-lightsaber lightsaber sword. I remember Johnny Quest — in reruns 🙂 — but never could get into that one. Sealab 3014 (or something like that) always reminded me of an undersea Johnny Quest parody — I dig that one.
And, yes, Mr. Peabody rules. Along with the janitor and his push broom.